Russia suspends major nuclear treaty with US
24th Feb, 2023
- Signed: 8 April 2010
- Entered into Force: 5 February 2011
- Duration: Ten-year duration with option to extend for no more than five years
- Parties: United States, Russian Federation
Russia announced to suspend its participation in the New START treaty — the last remaining nuclear arms control pact with the United States.
- New START’s official name is The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.
- It was signed in 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
- The treaty was to replace the 1991 START treaty.
- Just days before the treaty was due to expire in February 2021, Russia and the United States agreed to extend it for another five years.
- While suspending the treaty, Russia accused the S. and its NATO allies of openly declaring the goal of Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.
Limits imposed by the treaty:
- The treaty limits each party to
- 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) or deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs)
- 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs and SLBMs
- 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers
- It also envisions a rigorous inspection regime to verify compliance.
Together, Russia and the United States account for about 90% of the world's nuclear warheads.
Where did the issue start?
- Under the agreement, each side could conduct up to 18 inspections of strategic nuclear weapons sites every year to ensure the other has not breached the treaty's limits.
- However, inspections under the agreement were put on hold in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Talks between Moscow and Washington on resuming inspections were due to take place last November in Egypt, but Russia postponed them and neither side has set a new date.